Marijuana Strain Reviews

Our Ten Favorite Cannabis Strains of 2020

We reviewed everything from Apple Fritter to Cheetah Piss in 2020.
We reviewed everything from Apple Fritter to Cheetah Piss in 2020. Herbert Fuego
Legal cannabis enjoyed a very successful year as we burned, wheezed and isolated ourselves through wildfires, a circus disguised as an election and an ongoing pandemic, so I'm not the only one who got closer to my weed jar in 2020. And if I'm going to be forced to watch the equivalent of a ten-month-long Human Centipede marathon on the news, then I might as well bring my strain gang with me.

It's safe to say I've never tried more varieties of cannabis in one calendar year out of stress and boredom, and some certainly stood out more than others. In no particular order, here are ten of the best cannabis strains I had the pleasure to puff in 2020:

click to enlarge Cheetah Piss - HERBERT FUEGO
Cheetah Piss
Herbert Fuego
Cheetah Piss
Cheetah Piss was named in honor of Cat Piss, an energetic, ammonia-smelling strain from the 2000s that became popular at medical dispensaries on the West Coast. As tokers got more stinky options, though, strains smelling (and named) like Cat Piss faded away. But I've always appreciated the sour, fume-like complexities of Cat Piss, and viewed it as a way to identify real potheads. Seeing a breeder like Cookies, which is largely responsible for the current Cake and Pie strain fad at dispensaries, embrace those qualities with Cheetah Piss gives me hope that we'll see more returns to the past.

Don't expect Cheetah Piss to deliver a high similar to that of its predecessor, though. The strain's Lemonnade, Gelato and London Poundcake genetics are more apt for relaxation than the racy effects of Cat Piss, a phenotype of Super Silver Haze. However, there are cannabis varieties labeled Cat Piss with Afghani and Trainwreck backgrounds, so it's not the first time a talented breeder has re-created buds that tinge the nostrils like a new bottle of Sex Panther.


click to enlarge Trix - HERBERT FUEGO
Trix
Herbert Fuego
Trix
If I can't have runt-sized watermelon slices for breakfast, I'll take sticky, purple nugs named Trix as a consolation. The weed world's knockoff attempt on my long-lost breakfast shapes — a hybrid of Chemdog D and Colombian Gold from Riot Seeds — succeeds at quieting some of those cravings while proving that Cookies strains aren't the only ones that create a flavor fresh out of the oven.

Trix's flavors almost smell baked into the weed, as dumb as that sounds, but with biscuity aromas backing up those berry scents, you'll understand what I mean as your pupils turn into every fruit on the slot machine. The strain's morning implications are confirmed by an upbeat high that enables conversation and enough focus to get by, though a 20 percent THC potency can create a thin line between semi-high task-finisher and stoned dilly-dallier. A cup of coffee is usually enough to snap me out of it, but I've seen Trix turn novices into dried-out mutes, so don't get lost in the cereal box.

click to enlarge Citral Flo - HERBERT FUEGO
Citral Flo
Herbert Fuego
Citral Flo
Citral Flo smells, looks and smokes like some of that classic pre-legalization mystery dank — only we know what it is. A cross of Sour Flo and Citral Skunk, Citral Flo’s throwback smell and flavor are almost like going back to a hometown hangout. It doesn’t take long to trace the strain back to Flo, Citral, Skunk, Sour Diesel and OG Kush on the family tree, and those genetics combine for a beautiful blend of Eastern and Western cannabis varieties. Thick, chalky flavors of Hindu Kush; rubbery, gassy hints of Diesel; heavy fumes of Skunk and a twist of citrus cooperate instead of clash, creating a smell that’s textbook sticky icky.

Citral Flo’s high tends to lean old-school, too, and can make users anxious if too much is toked. Smoking a joint of it made me feel like a youngster on his first blunt: My tongue felt like sandpaper, and my sense of time and concentration was disoriented. However, sessions of the strain before a late February bike ride or during mountain visits gave me a warming energy without the side effect of overthinking, making it great for quick decision-making during outdoor activity.


click to enlarge Strawberry OG - HERBERT FUEGO
Strawberry OG
Herbert Fuego
Strawberry OG
I couldn't help but smile as fumes of tires, strawberries and Altoids splashed across my face when I took a chance on Strawberry OG, a hybrid of Bruce Banner #3 and SFV OG. Conjuring memories of blunts rolled with strawberry-flavored Swisher Sweets and Phillies, Strawberry OG's smell encapsulated some of my formative toking years in a way I hadn't previously experienced.

Most of the strawberry-leaning strains I'd had were either sickly-sweet or balanced with Diesel characteristics. Strawberry OG, however, carried fresh kicks of mint and pine on top of those fruity notes, as if I were pairing a skunky joint of chronic with a strawberry mojito. Such a fresh, interesting combination was like discovering a new drink at happy hour, and I worried the high would play out similarly: fun and fast-paced at first, then spiraling downward into a headache and a $30 Uber Eats delivery before a 9 o'clock bedtime. But I was pleasantly surprised with the clarity and creativity Strawberry OG left me, even after several heavy doses that melted my limbs. If that's not the best way to enjoy strawberries in the winter, I don't know what is.


click to enlarge Apple Fritter - HERBERT FUEGO
Apple Fritter
Herbert Fuego
Apple Fritter
A cross of Animal Cookies and Sour Apple by Lumpy's Flowers in northern California, Apple Fritter represents a true clash of the titans in the world of cannabis genetics. In one corner you have Animal Cookies, born from Fire OG and Girl Scout Cookies and carrying several OG-leaning qualities in flavor and effects. In the other is Sour Apple, a product of Cinderella 99 and Sour Diesel — a quintessential energy strain. Breeding those lineages together sounds like mixing a bulldog with a border collie, and I'm all for it.

Not all opposites spark something magical after they attract, but this hybrid is a home run. The heavy OG and uplifting citrus qualities are seamlessly connected by sweet, cheesy notes, which add more variety and balance to the flavor — and could reflect how Apple Fritter's effects achieve a similar harmony, giving me something a little more calming than a 50/50 ratio but still capable and alert enough to handle the day. Smoking Apple Fritter throughout the day eventually wound me down to a halt, however, and gave me the appetite of a pre-hibernation grizzly bear.

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Herbert Fuego is the resident stoner at Westword, ready to answer all your marijuana questions.
Contact: Herbert Fuego